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Papelbon was the best pitcher available, but the Phills only outbid themselves
The Jonathan Papelbon was a tremendous signing for the Phillies. For the third consecutive off season, they acquired the best pitcher that was available.
They could have gotten him for less, though.
The Phillies were so quick to sign him, though, they may have outbid themselves.
Papelbon said he told his agent at one point to do whatever needs to be done to sign with Philadelphia. There were reports that Boston was unwilling to give “Cinco Ocho” a guaranteed fourth year.
So Amaro decided to give him a guaranteed fourth year and the most guaranteed money ever given to a closer in a deal.
Will it make any marginal difference in 2015? Tough to tell, as the Phillies have paid $12.5 million on average to their closer annually the past three seasons, so there is reason the believe they would have committed that much to the position anyway, but it would not have helped to have some freedom when the time comes.
Amaro did a poor job both evaluating the market of interest for Papelbon from other teams, as well as getting a proper read on Papelbon’s priorities in regards to seeing the Phillies were the only team with his interest.
To top it all off, the Phillies lost a first-round draft pick because they signed Papelbon a few days too early in front of the expiration of the then-CBA, and thus had to comply with the old compensation procedures.